More than a thousand illegal African migrants have landed in the Spanish Canary Islands in the last 48 hours, an influx not seen in at least 10 years, according to the Red Cross.
African migrants have recently turned to the Canary Islands after agreements with Turkey, Morocco and Libya tightened control over the Mediterranean route to Europe’s shores.
Since Thursday, 1,015 people have arrived on 37 vessels to the islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Grand Canaria and Tenerife, the last two territories laying around 300 km (190 miles) off Africa’s coast.
Most of the migrants, from North Africa or sub-Saharan African nations, were in good health, though some were suffering symptoms of hypothermia, a Red Cross spokesman said.
All have been tested for the new coronavirus, the official said.
The Red Cross said the rate of arrivals was more or less the same as in 2006, when 30,000 migrants landed in the Canary Islands.
Between January and September 30, more than 6,000 migrants landed in the Canaries, six times the number who arrived in the same period in 2019, according the Spanish interior ministry.